Three Steps to Digital Workplace Management Success for the Finance Industry
February 15, 2023
Henry Barton, VP Strategy, VOSS
At VOSS, we have been working with customers in the finance sector to manage their UC environment for over 20 years. A critical component of supporting our customers has been to help them migrate to successive new technologies, as these have evolved. (For VOSS, the term “finance industry” encapsulates the banking industry, the insurance market, and financial services organizations as well).
In that time we have seen a huge advancement in the technology on offer, a lot of change in the way that we all work, and we have gained a wealth of experience along the way.
One of the most notable trends in recent years is the enormous wave of interest shown by the finance industry in moving to the cloud and Microsoft Teams.
Over the last five years, the finance industry has seen a broad adoption of Microsoft Teams for collaboration and of Microsoft 365 for productivity, while continuing to rely on a provider – such as Cisco or Avaya – for their voice infrastructure.
However, being able to deliver and manage a simple, fully integrated UC solution – and having a single portal to manage both UC and phone alongside each other – is increasingly appealing and is driving the finance industry to explore Microsoft Teams enterprise voice services.
Why not take that one extra step and offer your employees a dial pad from within Microsoft Teams? It makes a lot of sense. And it’s not just a logical move in terms of operational efficiency; it’s easier to manage, it saves time, it gives better visibility, it’s more secure, and it’s proving to be more cost effective too. In this time of economic uncertainty, that’s a very strong business case to move to Microsoft Teams Phone.
VOSS’ management tools are fundamental to successfully embracing this revolution. Today I’d like to share with you our bulletproof three-step plan for successful migration to a well-managed Microsoft Teams Phone.
Start with a live pilot with 30 to 50 users in a sample set of sites, preferably in multiple countries (if applicable). The pilot needs to be significant enough to identify areas that need further tuning, and allow sufficient running-in time. Includes some ‘TestUser’ Office365/MSTeams accounts for initial testing by Project Team members. Design inter-calling between the old and new dial plans. Collate feedback and then retest any changes with the Test User accounts and the full pilot membership.
We cannot stress enough how important this first step is. Getting this right in the first instance will have a measurable and positive impact on the whole migration. Plus it builds confidence within the sponsoring management that the end-to-end User experience is good and the automation systems are fully operational. Better still, include key IT senior management in the pilot.
When we carry out projects of this kind, we ensure that the customer is able to continue using their existing telephone numbers and UC infrastructure, augmenting this with Microsoft Teams services in the same sites, sharing the same number ranges and dial plan management. This guarantees the best return on investment – from both legacy and new applications – and furnishes employees with the latest collaboration tools to keep productivity high and end user experience positive. On the technical side, it requires simultaneous provisioning of both Cisco and Microsoft services, with fully automated PowerShell scripting used to read and update Microsoft services alongside full API integration into the Cisco platform. Automated management of call-routing via the SBCs and PBXs is also key.
The X-Factor: Control
VOSS ensures that the IT team remains in full control during the migration process, making sure that the transformation project happens at the right speed, moving departments over to Microsoft Teams Phone only when they are ready. VOSS’ multi-vendor management capabilities makes it easy for multiple technologies to be offered and to co-exist, removing the pressure of moving everyone at the same time. By carrying out the migration project in a cohesive, coordinated, and integrated manner, VOSS is able to offer a trusted, highly automated and repeatable process. All provisioning transactions are logged and all failed tasks are individually tracked so that they can be followed up and fixed. Migration accuracy is key.
Individual users can be transitioned in a two-step process from Cisco to mixed Cisco-Microsoft support and then on to Microsoft-only, some weeks later. This gives staff the chance to confirm their Microsoft Enterprise service is fully working before removing their old service. Unlike a ‘big-bang’ cutover, individual sites and staff members can be cutover and rolled back if required.
To find out more about our three-step plan to successful digital workplace management for the finance industry, please get in touch.